Are There Phrases That Switch Us On?

I’ve often wondered if there is a set of words that we hear or read at the right time that changes how we see – and thus changes our lives. My conclusion is yes. We have to build up questions where the answers seem closed to us and then, suddenly, the door opens. Eureka! After a while, the same process occurs again, and another door opens to let in more light. At each stage, we feel that we can then start living. Where was I before I saw the light?

Do we have an on/off switch?
When we become distracted, we switch off.

Are there sudden realisations that gradually build up to enlightenment?
It seems so.

When will we start our true life?
The moment we drop our patterning­.
Then we will never be the same again.

Never      the      same      again.

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The Four Reflections That Change Our Life
Valuing human existence

1. Our human life is precious, because we can communicate at the highest level.
2. We shouldn’t miss the opportunity to realise our ultimate truth.
3. Instead, we become attached to the pleasant and unpleasant.
4. There are consequences to becoming attached to the pleasant and unpleasant.

Taking human life for granted – being attracted to trivia and arguing – we lose sight of how unique this opportunity is to realise enlightenment. We are capable of much more than merely reciting the same old story while thinking that we have something interesting to say when, in fact, we are just repeating whatever others repeat.

Our story starts to change when we truly consider the four reflections about life. When we realise we are suffering, we can then look and find how to end this suffering, by realising that its cause never truly existed. It was all in the mind. This is an individual matter; we do not become realised collectively. We don’t do what songwriters and reactionaries tell us to do, and go around shouting, “Freedom, freedom!” It doesn’t work like that. 😀

If we try to realise our true nature collectively, we give our power and resolve away. In joining a group, we will not understand what we need to understand, and it is for this reason that we retreat into solitude. We can still be among others, but they now become a constant reminder of what we are about – which is remaining in pure awareness.

We are enlightened beings that have become comfortably numb.
We have this precious human birth, and what do we do with it?

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The Word ‘Religion’ Has An Effect On People

Hope, fear, a sense of purpose, a belief,
control, wrong, over-organised, evil, part of our evolution … ?

Religion claims to be the intercessor or connection to higher truth or God.

Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power. A particular system of faith and worship. A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

This can apply to anything.

If it was the case that religion represents something that we long for and that we consider to be more powerful, then we make that ‘thing’ into a religion and bind ourselves to it. It is this sense of poverty that shackles us, keeping us in a state of duality, of separation, and we will only ever experience a feeling of satisfaction rather than finding true attainment.

Spirit is pure consciousness, free of any binding, manipulation or feeling. When we cling to a belief – any belief – that is our religion. We have become religious! Anything that engulfs our life binds us and blinds us. People can be seen worshipping their beliefs every day – the list of attachments is endless!

We do not have a spiritual connection.
It is spirit that has adopted the temporary reality
of a human connection.

Pure consciousness never changes, and cannot be organised. To believe is to consent to others’ beliefs, interpretations or translations, whereas pure consciousness is direct seeing. It is beyond description.

When we lack confidence in direct seeing and react to others’ beliefs, then we are bound to that same belief whereas, in truth, the pure silence of pure consciousness is our reality. We have been seeking that which we already are: why were we ever told to believe something else?

Anything other than pure consciousness
is an illusion.

If the word ‘religion’ has an effect on us,
then we become bound by that illusion.

We should question everything but,
in pure consciousness,
there is nothing to question as we have arrived at our source.

By the time you have finish reading this article,
105 people in the world will have died, one every minute.
151,600 people die each day
55 million people die every year.

How many lived and died believing whatever they were told?
How many have realised the truth beyond what they were told?

There is nothing wrong with thinking.
Being bound to those thoughts is our problem.

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I Can’t Do Nothing!

Simply watch the breath.
When thoughts arise, return to watching the breath.
We are doing nothing.

In simply being aware and watching the breath,
we realise that we are the happiness we seek.
And we are still doing nothing.

When the body and mind go about their daily routine,
awareness simply watches.

In simply watching and doing nothing,
we see the causes and effects of everything.

awareness lets go of fixated thoughts that control us.

A problem is only a problem
because of the way we see it.

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There Is Nothing To Do

There is nothing to do but recognise.
In that simple recognition,
we realise that, doing nothing
is the ultimate essence
of pure consciousness.

When this is realised,
we find we can know so much more.

Meditation illuminates all activities.

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Why I was Kicked Out Of A Dharma Centre
(this isn’t for delicate minds :D)

Actually, I don’t know why I was kicked out … but it did leave a trauma. And actually, I have been kicked out of other spiritual centres, but each time, the teacher/guru/lama never had the insight to be able to explain why.

We either have to believe in whatever they say and the way that they do things, or we have to leave … or get kicked out. Each time, there was a lack of empathy, and I was left to start alone all over again. On reflection, these were the most influential moments is my life; they were very painful, but turned out to be a refreshment. Emotional pain can be enlightening. It was like being guided … or dragged … from one place to another. 😀 Why? Because the right intention was still present.

Every spiritual tradition has its tradition, and they rarely talk about other points of view. Once we bond with a particular tradition, we become stuck in a narrow way of thinking. All path have truth in them, so no complaints there – the only problem in the world is … people 😀 People (especially ‘spiritual’ people) can talk and pray about compassion, but the empathy needed for compassion to arise is mostly theoretical. Still no complaints – we’re all in the same boat. It’s not until we have been dragged through the mud a few times that we think, “Enough of this! There is something within that knows and sees inconsistencies.” Spiritual evolution isn’t about the teacher’s wellbeing: it’s about the students’ wellbeing!

The problem is method
Methods suit some and not others. All along, I was a Dzogchen/Maha Ati student and didn’t know it – until I found it. And here is a very important point. There are Dzogchen/Maha Ati students who aren’t Dzogchen/Maha Ati students: they are still religious students who adhere to dogma. And the reverse is also true, when Dzogchen/Maha Ati students try to squeeze themselves into a narrower path and just can’t fit in.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be said in public, but if anyone is having problems trusting others, maybe the view and conduct are inconsistent. As an example, in the lower yanas, people stick to rules whereas, in Dzogchen, there is simply seeing; “We are free in the moment of seeing.”

Following others can lead us up a blind alley. I’m not saying those practitioners are blind but, for some of us, their view and conduct may be too serious and lack empathy. Our true spiritual path is our own confusion. That is what we have to deal with, and if things aren’t working for us, maybe we need to take responsibility, and change our approach.

The funny thing is that, once we realise that we are what we seek, all paths look alike. Realisation isn’t for weak minds – weak minds have to be told. Teachings are there so that we realise our true, inner confidence. Don’t ever take the Buddha’s words for it. The Buddha said, “Test it for yourself”. Humility can still be dynamic.

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We Don’t Have To Wait …
… for either the next incarnation or heaven
to realise our ultimate reality now.

Realisation doesn’t depend on the next incarnation; hoping that we will be enlightened in the future is a belief system. If there is a next incarnation, it will depend on now. We have no idea what will come about in the future. It is in realising our true nature now that real changes occur to allow further realisations. That is the process! Days may be pleasant or unpleasant – and some days are just routine – but the realisation of our ultimate nature of pure consciousness does not change. It’s here now, and nowhere else.

Throughout history, humanity has been split into believers and realisers – and all the levels in between. Even today, we have those who follow a process, a system, and those who experience their process (and of course, there are also those who just aren’t bothered).

Here, we are talking about actual seekers. Some rely on answers, while others rely on questions. There is an expectation that, if we follow, we will realise but, on observation, those who follow stay following. When we follow others, we become reliant and are never free. We are free when we know – know not the answer, but how to question.

Give someone a potato and that person will eat for that day.
Teach that person in what conditions a potato will grow
and they’ll feed for a lifetime.

Or, we can keep going down the shops!

Spiritual texts are very extensive, due to this realisation that has been around forever. Practitioners merely comment and share to suit that particular time and place. If we only consider our practice to be about acquiring merit towards our next incarnation, we may be deluded. In merit, we can only hope, and that is an obstacle in itself. If we foster doubt, we will never know about our reality now.

Better to realise the truth now, and stop doubting. Knowing this one thing – pure consciousness – addresses all situations, and we don’t have to remember or carry around all that text in our heads.

We find ourselves in certain situations due to previous activities and understandings. We deal with those situations by not merely reacting, but seeing afresh and asking, “What is this?”

For some, going to heaven could be hell.
One person’s satisfaction is another’s dissatisfaction.
And another’s dissatisfaction is yet another’s satisfaction.

A simple example:
To get rid of negative emotions is the goal for some.
Those very negative emotions are wisdoms for others.

To clarify:
In the very first instant of a emotion, the mind brightens.
Awareness is alert, and that alertness is pure consciousness.

Staying on the bright side is enlightenment.

I tried being normal …
it was the worse time of my life.

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No One Wants To Be Told They Are Wrong

Every individual has to recognise
what is beneficial and what is harmful to their lives,
and this changes with understanding.

Every sentient being has an enlightened nature, which is resting continuously within pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is already present, but goes unnoticed, and we can either realise or ignore this potential. Enlightenment is undoing all the fixations that limit and control how we see and what we see.

Yesterday, we considered the eight right actions, or the eightfold path to liberation. The word ‘right’ unfortunately creates the word ‘wrong’, which can make us feel heavy and guilt-ridden. As a result, we experience doubt, and switch off in a subtle way. We need a lighter touch to realisation as the lower yanas/vehicles/paths can weigh us down with do’s and don’ts, whereas Maha Ati or Dzogchen is about seeing the seeing.

Each individual has to consider how they live in order to realise happiness, but beings misunderstand their true nature, and this causes unhappiness in some way. We all want to be right, but we’re not sure how to achieve this.

The words ‘beneficial’ and ‘harmful’ seem better words than ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. We can obsess about what is meant by all these words as opposed to just accepting that life has pleasant and unpleasant moments – and that’s no big deal. We just have to be mindful of what we are doing, thinking and digesting. The Buddha’s words are meant to help us make decisions, and know what to look out for.

As well as the eight beneficial actions, there are also the eight worldly preoccupations (or ‘harmful Dharma’), where all our actions are governed by hopes and fears.

Hope for happiness, and fear of suffering,
Hope for fame, and fear of insignificance,
Hope for praise, and fear of blame,
Hope for gain, and fear of loss;

These preoccupations are nothing to feel guilty about. Just be aware of how much they control us, and adjust accordingly. That is intelligent, spiritual practice: “Not too tight and not too loose.” In this way, we don’t have to be perfect; recognition is the perfection – and it’s already present.


Wrong understanding = I’m only human

Wrong thought = It’s all about me.

Wrong speech = I say what I think.
Wrong action = Listen to me.

Wrong livelihood = I don’t care if it harms others.

Wrong effort = The harder I work the more I get.

Wrong mindfulness = My peace is important to me.

Wrong concentration = I can’t keep this up.

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Free Speech, Right Speech, Right Conduct

The type of world in which we live is created by our understanding and conduct. Is our view materialistic consciousness or enlightened consciousness? We have to know the difference. When we realise our true nature, our conduct must reflect this realisation. Right speech is of paramount importance as it’s an aspect of right attitude.

I just say what I think!” And there is our problem. We quite often want a reaction, don’t we? The internet has given us the ability to say whatever we want while incognito, in disguise – it’s even encouraged. The more the reaction, the more the excitement, the more the interest, the more we take offence and become upset. It’s a vicious cycle.

To be able to have free speech, we have to know what is right speech – and right conduct. Free speech is free from bias, otherwise it is speech that creates conflict.

‘Right speech’ is part of the eightfold path to liberation:


Right understanding
Right thought
Right speech
Right action
Right livelihood
Right effort
Right mindfulness
Right concentration

Skilful speech can reduce suffering, while unskilful speech can increase suffering. Right speech avoids harm and idle chatter. It means speaking in a way that promotes harmony and enriches, reducing anger and easing tension. We should not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and in the right place. If we cannot say something useful, we should keep a ‘noble silence.’

Right speech includes humour, lightening and brightening the atmosphere. Humour increases resilience in dealing with distress by undoing negative effects.

Before we can have right speech,
we need right listening, without judgement.

Right speech is good for us all.
If we don’t know what right speech is,
we just smile


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Today, My Life Is Fruitful!”

The moment that we recognise we are not our thoughts, we are free.
As Tulku Urgyen said, “We are free in the moment of seeing”:
That is what he meant.

As long we identify with thoughts, we create and maintain a self image.
In reality, we are pure consciousness, free from this false influencer.
It’s that simple.

Once we know this, we can never not know,
and no one can tell us what to think ever again
We can acknowledge an idea without accepting it.

Our suffering is caused by our thoughts.
Realising this, we see that our enemy has been our mind all along.
The fact is, it is this enemy that wakes us up.

Pure consciousness is a surveillance device,
full of knowledge and wisdom.

The world may look hell-bent on spreading confusion,
but it is this recognition that awakens us.
Our life is now fruitful and worthwhile.

Our enemy is our true teacher.
It shows us our reactions that obscure pure vision.

Kathie said,
“It’s like opening an airtight jar:
once loosened, it never gets that uptight again!”

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Why We Should Bother About Our Minds?

Now is creating our future.
It’s only when we understand how our mind works
that we are in control.

We have to able to control our mind so that it doesn’t fly off the handle at any excuse. In this age of taking offence, if we do not control ourself, we will just end up in psychological hell.

This is why we sit in silence, watching the breath and not allowing thoughts to carry us away. When we say ‘us’, we mean consciousness. When thoughts arise in the mind during meditation, we merely return to watching the gentle breath. This very easy and simple: it is the ancient practice used to discipline and train our mind to be in control of constant judgements and emotions. Finding genuine inner peace, we can see clearly what is happening to consciousness.

Controlling our judgements and emotions doesn’t mean that we do not discern that which is harmful or beneficial; we just remain balanced and at ease in our approach. Compassion and kindness are pre-requisites when de-stressing a situation.

Most of the time, whatever we perceive goes straight to memory, and we then judge and react. This is the primitive brain of fight, flight or freeze at work. It may help us to survive but, if we are not careful, this attitude can become our lot in life. We do not notice that this process drives us into becoming a ‘Homo Iratus’ – an irritated human. 😀

Once we know how to survive, we no longer need our defensive display, and we now have time to reflect and realise what truth is for us. We can cut through our mechanicalness, just being aware and using our intelligence and ability to reason without emotion. When we have the clarity of awareness or consciousness, then we can choose how to respond rather than merely re-enacting our protective routine.

There are two types of psychology: one is based on our place in the world (our relative reality) and the other is our true reality of the original state of consciousness.

There is a fundamental difference between the modern mechanics of scientific psychology, and the mechanics of spiritual psychology. Modern psychology is about feeling good and being ‘normal’. Spiritual psychology is concerned with how the mind works rather than whether we feel good or not: it does not rely on conditions.

If we only use modern psychology to feel ‘good’ or ‘right’ then, when things aren’t going our way, we feel ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. The problem with feeling good or right is that we might then regard others as bad or wrong. It’s a vicious cycle of existence as we go round in circles.

I once asked a psychologist, “What is normal?” She said, “Normal is whatever is normal for that person.” The question then arises, “How did that person’s normal first come about?” Doesn’t it all depend on their environment which creates how they judge things, and is the reason why they are in their present state?

When considering spiritual psychology, we are looking at the whole being, and the true nature of the mind itself, consciousness itself. Understanding that this consciousness is pure clarity, we then feel good and right for no reason – it does not rely on anything. It’s like this clear, untainted screen and the writing on it; it is by virtue of the clarity of the screen that the words are clearly seen. Otherwise, we would see through a haze of confusing concepts – like this …

Screen Shot 2020-01-29 at 18.51.30

In meditation,
we are training the mind to see afresh,
to evolve into its reality
which is the source of all realisations.

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Brainwashing? Brain Filling!
Always consider reverse engineering.

We are influenced by subliminal imagery sent directly to the brain – bypassing the conscious mind – and can have ideas put into our brains to ‘better’ our self. Why do we think we have a problem? Mind manipulation has already taken place.

Reverse engineer everything.
If we are getting information,
we are giving it at the same time.

Meditation is reverse engineering our mind.
We’re clearing out the programming
so that we see clearly, and in a unique way.

It is not a matter of reading and acquiring clever information from the ‘wise guys’. It’s a matter of seeing clearly for ourselves. Holding on to whatever the ‘wise guys’ say is still NLP: it isn’t personal realisation yet. Yes, it may be good programming, but it’s still second hand. This why the Buddha – and this old guy – keep saying, “Do not take my word for it; test and see for yourself.”

This video is a perfect example of what goes on behind the scenes – the insight revealing our illusory reality.

Scene: mid 16th century from Latin ‘scena’, from Greek skēnē ‘tent, stage’.
NeuroLinguistic Programming –NLP- Faster than Hypnosis.

Even being told not to do something … we do it! We don’t notice the powerful effect of negative suggestion that continues in later life: being told that we mustn’t think or say certain things … we still think them, and we still say them. Psychologists know what they’re doing, and so we should know what they are doing.

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“The Church Invented Hell And Is In ‘The Control Business’ ”
Religion doesn’t want us to grow up”.
The following is taken from

Jon Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church explains that religion is a business and it is used as a control mechanism.

“Is religion an invention of man used for sinister purposes? A form of brainwashing? Is there some truth within religion? Is that way it resonates with so many? Is religion different today from what it was many years ago?

“Religion is a controversial topic, and I’d like to preface this article by saying that it is not my aim to belittle or diminish anyone’s beliefs. My problem is not with faith but with religion as an organisation, which has been used as a means of control, to pit people against each other, and to incite terror and war. Religion in this context serves the purposes of many various global elitist agendas.

“Religion is also confusing, to say the least; within several different religions exist different ‘sects,’ each with their own teachings and version of the ‘truth’ and how to live one’s life. Within Christianity alone, there are multiple versions of the Bible, and teachings that contradict one another. What one religion says in one part of the world may directly oppose what another says in a different part of the world. This alone is a recipe for feelings of confusion and isolation for anybody who is seeking ‘the truth.’ If various religions preach different ways of life and truths, they all can’t be correct, can they? I guess that’s why they call it faith.

“He argues that religion is a business and it is used as a control mechanism (and he’s not the first insider to do so). We can see this happening most clearly in the rise of Islamophobia. Islam has been turned into a scapegoat, a target at which we can direct all our fears and anger, and an excuse to invade other countries and create a more intense global national security state. But the truth is, Islam has nothing to do with violence or terrorism. These manufactured fears are all part and parcel of ‘false flag’ terrorism, which you can read more about here if you are unfamiliar with the concept.

“In the video, Spong affirms that “religion is always in the control business, and that’s something people don’t really understand. It’s in the guilt-producing control business.”

“He is describing the difference between faith and religion. I myself have explored multiple religions, and have discovered teachings within all of them that deeply resonate with me. I’ve also found teachings that don’t resonate at all. I don’t believe one religion has all the answers.

“Using fear to coax people into a certain way of life or belief system, just like the Bishop mentions above, seems to be common practice in nearly every religion, and that certainly doesn’t resonate with me.

“The history of the church itself is problematic. Whether it be the church’s role in the First Nations Genocide here in Canada, or the European crusades, the church has a history of forcing their views upon others and of condemning science and new discoveries.

“Furthermore, as the Bishop says above, people need to accept responsibility for the world. If we simply leave global change in the hands of God, we remove our own responsibility and agency in this world. If we want to change the world, WE have to do it. After the Paris terrorist attacks, the Dalai Lama expressed this as well, arguing that it’s not enough to just pray. We must take responsibility for our planet.

“We are also dealing with texts that are very old, and considering there are multiple versions of various texts, all of which have likely been manipulated, changed, and distorted over the years, I find it difficult to accept any one without question.

“Another point that turns me away from religion is hypocrisy. Many people claim ties to their faith yet know very little about its tenets, and fail to follow what they claim to believe in. This is commonly seen within the ‘spiritual’ movement as well, which can be seen as another form of religion in itself.

“When it comes to religion, I believe you have to do your own research; you have to read the books and examine the teachings for yourself. Use your own head and find what resonates with you instead of allowing yourself to be indoctrinated and letting someone else do your thinking for you. These texts are open to interpretation; it’s up to you to find meaning in them and apply it to your life. You can still believe in God and not be religious. Religion is a manmade construct, and I think if God were to suddenly appear somewhere, he or she would have no idea what religion even was.

Religions as organizations are going to have to change. New discoveries are constantly being made that are challenging long-held belief systems. We cannot grow if we refuse to have an open mind and accept new possibilities about the nature of reality, and it’s childish to hold on to old belief systems just because they are familiar.

I personally believe in the soul and other non-material phenomena, as well the idea that life does not end here on Earth, and I believe there is enough evidence in various forms, aside from my own intuition and gut feeling, to support this stance.

What about you? What do you believe? What it all boils down to, for me, is respect. We must learn to respect each other’s viewpoints about ‘what is.’ We need to work with each other and accept our differences so we can focus on helping the planet, our shared home.

“It’s a mark of an educated person to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.”

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When Did Conspiracies Start?

Short answer:
Around 5000 years ago.

Conspiracy: secret plan or a cabal.
A cabal is a group of people united to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, state, or other community, often by intrigue and usually unbeknownst to those outside their group. The use of this term usually carries negative connotations of political purpose, conspiracy and secrecy. The word cabal comes from the word Kabbalah – to receive or accept.” Wikipedia

Conspiracies are mistaken views.

There are two opposing views on reality; dualistic and non-dualistic. In between, are those who don’t care but still believe in an ‘I’ and everything to which this ‘I’ relates.

Anything that can be known starts with our consciousness; there is no belief present at that point. Belief comes afterwards. To know anything correctly and precisely, this consciousness has to be unbiased, so it has to be pure consciousness. That is what we are. That is our truth.

We are all, first and foremost, non-dual pure consciousness. This consciousness is neither physical nor mental. It is that which sees, is aware, is purely conscious and never changes. Our ideas are changeable but consciousness itself is unchanging, and we can see and realise this. This is what our existence is all about. Pure consciousness is our reality. It is from this that everything is known: anything else is made up of ideas.

There are, however, those who believe in ‘something else’ that is apart from their pure consciousness. They chose to be dualistic and worship some thing. How did these two different views of duality and non-duality come about?

Truth is not something that is created, as anything created is temporary and has an end. Truth never dies. The truth is that which sees. It just is. The truth can be hidden for while, but the truth always comes out because the truth is obvious … when pointed out! Conspiracies are only created by those who do not understand the deeper meaning of universal laws. These natural laws – attraction, repulsion and indifference – drive the universe, and translate in human terms as desire, fear and ignorance (while, in essence, they are pure compassionate consciousness, the three kayas.)

If we do not know how the universe runs, then it runs us – it controls us.
If we do know how the universe runs, then we run with it – we control it.

How do we control the universe?
We don’t!
We just become aware of universal power.

Ignorance is the cause of imprisonment.
Questioning is the cause of enlightenment.

Ignorance creates confusion. Confusion creates fantasies. Fantasies create conspiracies – creating more confusion. Ignorance is anything that obscures pure consciousness. In ignorance, we can be led to believe anything. In pure consciousness there is nothing to believe, as it is realised.

Would a God create a confused universe?
We can all read about God’s intentions, but who wrote those words?
Ask yourself the question, “Who created our view of the world?”

There seems to have been a divergence of views in the area of Persia/Iran around 5000 years ago, at the beginning of the Kaliyuga. One group – Zoroastrians – had a dualistic view of ‘one God’ and ‘me’ as their reality. The other group – the Vedantists (which means ‘not two’) – had a non-dual view of reality.

The Zoroastrian view of God led to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, while the other view of pure consciousness led to Hinduism and Buddhism.

Confusion can arise when our view and our practice don’t match up.
A conspiracy is anything or anyone who denies the truth
by colouring it with a belief.

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The Nine Levels Or Yanas

This is a reply to a question was about the nine levels: I have to apologise to a questioner (DF) for accidentally deleting both my reply and his comment.

Here are the nine levels or yanas within the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. There are many links on the page, but it’s probably best to find a retreat on this subject. This may sound like a scholarly subject, but it is more experiential:

In Tibetan Buddhism, many subjects are broken down into sub sections, and it all can seem complicated.

To simplify. Take an emotion such as anger or pride:

On a basic level, we may back away from an emotion, eg not allowing ourselves to become annoyed – or admit that we are annoyed.

On another level, we may apply an antidote to these emotions; for anger, we apply compassion, and for pride, we apply a feeling of equality, etc. But this antidote is a temporary measure as these emotions will return.

On yet another level, we see that these emotions do not exist.

At the highest level (Maha Ati or Dzogchen), these same emotions become wisdoms: in the very first instant of the emotion, there is a stirring within pure consciousness and the mind brightens, before we become carried away by the emotion.

There are also nine stages or levels of mental development or meditation practice – this may be of some help.


Shamatha, which means ‘calm’, is the practice of meditation to develop the ability to focus the mind in single-pointed concentration. This is practised as a pre-requisite for mindfulness or insight meditations.

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, this practice is described as a ‘nine stage progression’, beautifully depicted in this thangka showing a monk chasing and finally capturing an elephant. The elephant is being led by a monkey, representing distractions but, through study of the writings of wisdom teachers and meditation practice, the practitioner is able to capture and subdue the elephant. Gradually, both the monkey and the elephant turn white, representing the meditator’s ability to maintain the power of concentration.

Stages three and four represent the meditator’s ability to fix and hold his or her concentration steady. The meditator has lassoed the elephant and gradually the monkey and elephant – and even a rabbit (torpor) – turn and look at the meditator to indicate that distractions acknowledge who is in charge.

In stages five and six, the meditator begins to lead the elephant, and the monkey of distraction follows the mind rather than leading it. The mind is controlled; the meditator uses a goad to discipline the elephant. The rabbit disappears and the mind is finally pacified.

In the seventh stage, the monkey leaves the elephant and stands behind the meditator, paying homage.  In stage eight, the meditator is in complete control, and single-pointed concentration is achieved.

The ninth is the stage of mental absorption. Perfect equanimity is found and the path has ended. The elephant rests beside the meditator who sits at ease. Now, out of the meditator’s heart, streams a rainbow-like ray.

Stages ten and eleven represent crossing over into mental bliss. The meditator rides the elephant along the rainbow path into the perfection of the transcendent realm and returns bearing the sword of Wisdom. Samsara’s root is severed by the union of shamatha and vipashyana (or insight meditation with emptiness as the object of contemplation). Aware of pure awareness, the meditator is now equipped with Compassion and Wisdom to guide others on the path to enlightenment.

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Are We Just Treading Water?
Making no real progress.

We may do and say the right things, but has there been any real, enlightening change in life? We may go through the right routines, but are we just tread ingwater?

We are all in danger of sustaining diligent indifference that separates us, and it’s when this starts to feel uncomfortable that we need to move up a level. Nice words are okay, but if they become a habit, they may lose their true meaning and then may create irritation – but still, we blindly persist. 😀

At this time, we need to look more closely at what those words actually mean. It is said that there are nine levels, each using the same words but with different meanings. That which we consider our enemy at one level – a negative emotion – is our teacher at another. And, at yet another level, it is our precise path to enlightenment.

Is compassion just a nice idea, or a way of life?
Is it a way of life or is it our teacher?
Or is it our active path to enlightenment?

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The Tenderness of Compassion

(This is for those who cannot afford to go on retreats 😀 )

We all know – in a general way – what “the tenderness of compassion” means, but this not a fixed thing. It is experiencing the moment now with genuine concern for others, and has nothing to do with sentimentality. It is something from which we constantly learn. Compassion for confusion is our path.

A retreat takes several days of silent meditation, listening and reflection, but we still have to go away and practise on our own. A teaching is something that stirs us’; it’s not something that we ‘get’ – it is a manifestation of realisation.

Tender compassion isn’t a sloppy, sentimental, new age idea. It is the powerful medium of true communication. It is the outcome of the realisation of duty, which is the practice of the six perfections (paramitas) or the six compassions: Generosity, Patience, Discipline, Morality, Concentration and Transcendent Wisdom. In other words, it’s pinpoint sensitivity.

Compassion is an atmosphere generated by clarity and empathy. A battered heart has to recognise its own wounds in order to heal itself before it can empathise with others’ pain. We need compassion in understanding how these wounds came about before attempting to help others, and for that we need open tenderness and intelligence. Sentimental affection or kindness is nice but doesn’t last, and isn’t reliable. Platitudes only make us feel good: we cannot tell someone who feels something not to feel it as the feeling is a consequence of their past. How we and they deal with that feeling is the issue.

The tenderness of compassion
is being concerned to listen without judgement
and never feel defensive or annoyed.
This takes practice and honest interest.

The tenderness of compassion
is our teacher.

A prayer for us all:
“May I have the right compassionate motivation and intention
to guide all sentient beings on the path to enlightenment.”

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 Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s Easter Retreat 2020


Bookings have now opened for this year’s UK retreat led by Tsoknyi Rinpoche

It will run from
30th March – 5th April.
Bruton School for Girls, Somerset, UK

Book now for the 2020 Pundarika UK Easter Retreat


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Inner Happiness And Outer Happiness

Our inner happiness affects our outer happiness.
If we only look for outer happiness,
then we will have to go on looking.

(Don’t be put off by the word ‘happiness’; read it as ‘sanity’.)

Inner happiness is knowing, experiencing and realising the rightness of everything: this may sound strange to those who believe that everything is real, and want everything to be perfect.

Everything comes into existence through causes and conditions and, through cause and conditions, everything then comes to an end. That is perfect reasoning. Understanding this, we see the world and our lives for what they are – a temporary affair. If we do this and this and this, then we will get that. If we think this and this and this, we will become that. It’s a universal law, but it’s still impermanent.

Scientists know how to change DNA.
Psychologists know the frailties of the human mind.
Religions know about longing.

Is our confusion due to mixing up science, psychology and religion?
If we become confused, don’t we lose our happiness and sanity?
Could it be that the status quo – the state of affairs we live under – creates this insanity?

Being told not to think of a donkey, we think of a donkey.
Being told not to obsess about something, we obsess about that very thing.

It’s a kind of hypnosis. Negative ideas have a stronger effect on us than positive ones – just look at the news!

When we are aware and realise the state in which we live, then we are no longer under the control of science, psychology, or religion.

When we realise our true nature of pure consciousness, we know we are neither this body nor mindset and, at death, we will no longer have this human form. Even if death is the end, at least we can continue a legacy of reasonable sanity handed down to us. 😀

The Buddha saw a musician tightening the strings of an instrument, observing that the strings needed to be not too tight and not too loose in order to achieve the right note, a ‘happy’ note. If we live under strings that are too tight (wound up) or too loose (sloppy), we will never be just right, having satisfactory mental health.

Happiness (or sanity) is the clarity of good mental health; it’s our natural state. What made us move away from this? The promise of a better, outer life? ‘Living the Dream’?

Inner happiness is knowing how everything is.
Outer happiness is knowing why everything is.

Our life may not be hunky dory but it serves a purpose,
conveying us to enlightenment.

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Life After Realisation

It’s okay being you!

This me is the conveyance to enlightenment. That which we call me is certainly an illusion as it is a temporary arrangement of body and mindset, but now we see it and use it.

Are there two me’s? There is a real me – the pure light of consciousness – and a temporary, projected me. There is light that casts a reflection: normally, we just project our reflection, and ignore our light.

People will argue over words, but we know what we experience. We (pure consciousness) watch this me reflection projecting itself. Unfortunately, most of us become stuck to the projection. Awakening is becoming unstuck.

This me is the commentator within the still silence of pure consciousness. That is why retreats are in silence, as we are only there to be, rather than to project. Unfortunately the projection still takes over … we can see it coming a mile away! 😀

It is this spiritual projection that turns simple realisation into a complicated matter, when it’s actually ‘Oh, so simple’. We realise that we no longer have to act it out or fake it and make everything sparkle. That’s just a distraction. We are the sparkle. Trying to be perfect in order to realise the truth merely delays realisation. We don’t polish the mud – we clean it off!

To be free is to realise our self-nature
without obsessing about that self-nature.
It’s just something we live with.

With the right intention,
we gradually move from complicity to simplicity.

We realise that we are already happy
and it doesn’t rely on anything.

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I Can’t Stop Thinking

It’s what an “I” does.

The mind thinks thoughts. It’s what is does. To ask it to stop thinking would be like asking the eyes to stop seeing. Thinking and seeing are natural. The deception is that – and it is a deception – consciousness attaches itself to the thoughts and whatever it sees, thereby making these appearances seem real. This creates an ‘I’-grasping machine, clinging to a self identity, and desperate to defend itself with emotions.

We are bombarded with thoughts, sounds, images, smells, tastes, and physical sensations and, all the while, conscious awareness is present. An ‘I’ was created only when we forgot our true essential nature, and started fantasising. We are not this ‘I’: we are, first and foremost, pure conscious awareness.

Meditation is just seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching – without attachment. Only then are we free to enjoy, without suffering.

Milarepa said, “Thoughts do not fetter us; it is clinging to those thought that binds us.”

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Fish Out Of Water

Trying to conforming to others’ standards,
we may feel alone.

Once we feel alone, we become detached,
and recognise our unique path to enlightenment.

When we feel
that we are not just a human (or fish ;D)
who conforms to others’ ideas,
we are well on our way
to joining the victorious ones,
free of concepts.

Once we evolve out of the sea,
there are no signs saying
“Stop here!”

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Nobody Is Ordinary

We are all enlightened essence,
unique in discovering that our path to this realisation
is the recognition of our own confusion.

Thinking we are special,
while conforming to others’ confusion,

Enlightenment is nothing special,
as cognisant emptiness is stripped of modifications.

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Zero Intolerance

From an enlightened point of view,
zero intolerance means complete
and compassionate wisdom.

On the path to enlightenment, there is no place to hold back or hide.

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Zero Tolerance = Zero Compassion

This exposes the resident evil in the world.
It starts off to protect, and then technology and memes tighten the net
until we are in fear of whatever we say and think.

We have to be fully aware of the sort of world in which we live.
Physical and mental freedom is an illusion.

Seeing nipples is forbidden.
Seeing violence is encouraged.

When inequality, privilege and entitlement are promoted,
people will react.
Enter … zero tolerance.

The only thing that can protect us is pure consciousness.
Only then are we aware of consenting to jump on the bandwagon.
Zero tolerance knows about our fears and hopes,
and strives to keep us in ignorance.

When looking for the truth, there is only one way;
that is the enlightened wisdom or pure consciousness.

The way and support to enlightenment is through the six perfections:
(leading to) Transcendent Wisdom.

If these perfections are reduced to zero,
we already live in a prison of our own consent.

Zero tolerance is complete intolerance.

This is why we choose to wake up.

“A zero-tolerance  imposes a punishment for every infraction of a rule. Zero-tolerance policies forbid people in positions of authority from exercising discretion or changing punishments to fit the circumstances subjectively; they are required to impose a pre-determined punishment regardless of individual culpability, extenuating circumstances, or history. This pre-determined punishment, whether mild or severe, is always metered out”. (from Wikipedia)

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A Feeling Isn’t An Emotion
(continued from yesterday)

As we realise something, we realise more.

‘Feeling’ is something actually felt (an intuition) in the first moment of experience, as opposed to our ‘feelings’ that we hold on to and carry around with us.

A feeling is not something we can stop, or cover up.
There is no guilt attached to a feeling; it’s natural.

We – pure consciousness, empty of thoughts – are fully aware. In the first instant of perception, a feeling is generated and an ‘energy’ arises. This happens automatically due to past experiences … we merely have to hear a name, and there is a stirring, an occurrence before a thought or emotion fully develops and we react. If this sequence of events goes unnoticed, it might seem to be spontaneous, but it is merely gross, habitual behaviour.

This feeling, intuition or response is a product of our past – karma – and it is neutral. It does not create further karma as judgement hasn’t stepped in yet.

If we boost this feeling with ideas, however, we create and reinforce an emotion that will manifest again and again at a later dates. Whether this karmic product keeps returning depends entirely on our reactions as, at any stage, we can remember our pure reality and thus cut through this process.

Remember Shunryu Suzuki’s quotation, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.”

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Feeling Flat Or Heavy?

There is a reason for feeling flat or heavy, and it’s fine.
The same goes for every feeling we all experience.

In Buddhism, there is an explanation known as the twelve links of causes and karmic conditions in which we find ourselves. This is called The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, or the twelve Nidanas in Sanskrit. It’s a vast subject, and one that can be easily researched on the internet.

Here, we are dealing with the seventh ‘link’ of feeling, and it will ease your mind
no end. 😀

At any moment, we may experience pleasant, painful or neutral situations: in this particular case, we might feel fed up, flat, heavy or a little depressed. It is important to recognise that these feelings represent the inevitable result of past karma. There is nothing to feel wrong or guilty about. We may wish the feelings weren’t there, but they are natural and in accordance with our past behaviour.

In other words, whether a particular experience is felt as being pleasant, negative or neutral, we have no choice in the matter, as that is determined by the karma accumulated in the past. Whatever we experience is the natural and unavoidable result of a multiplicity of causes and conditions that are now coming to fruition, and over which we have no control. The present moment is a product of the past.

It is important to understand that whatever we experience as feelings is a product of karma (the result of our past actions): they are neither right nor wrong and, of themselves, produce no further karma.

This view runs counter to modern thinking. For example, if we have a negative thought or emotion appearing in our mind, we feel that something bad is happening and we are creating negative karma.

This is not so!

The appearance of the emotion at that moment is neutral and, of itself, generates no further pain or karma. Any karmic repercussions depend entirely on how we respond.

If we feel guilty and hold onto these feeling, we generate more of the same for the future. This why we especially need compassion for ourselves: only then we can empathise with others, and pay it forward! 😀

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Stuck In The Eighth Consciousness

Different traditions explain this differently

In the Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma tradition, there are eight consciousnesses; five of the senses and three of the mind. There is one more, the ninth, which is pure consciousness. The five sense consciousnesses are straightforward and non-conceptual, as the senses do not think. Just because we are seeing etc, doesn’t mean that we are thinking, as thinking happens in the three consciousnesses of mind – perception, judgement and memory.

They work work like this: the 6th consciousness perceives through the senses, and whatever is perceived goes straight to memory – the 8th consciousness, the storehouse of information. If this entire process goes unnoticed, awareness then drops to the 7th consciousness of judgement and we just react. It’s the 8th consciousness of memory that creates problems for spiritual enthusiasts. This is the “I” consciousness that wants to feel good about itself, and the moment we want to feel good or right, we’ve created the opposite, whereby others are wrong. 😀

In meditation, we may experience stillness and peace, but there is a subtle clinging in the process, an “I” dualistically relating to the experience of being still. This is difficult to give up if we are unaware.

There are two possible endings to this scenario:

1. We simply recognise attachment to stillness, drop it, and rest in the ninth consciousness of pure empty consciousness – actual non-duality. It’s just a matter of seeing. We are free in the moment of seeing. This is the outcome of genuine practice, when we gently move from the 8th to the 9th consciousness. We drop all reference to memories and theories. This movement is very subtle because, at the 8th consciousness, we are nearly there!

It is from the non-dual realisation of the 9th consciousness that true compassion arises, and that activates the four enlightened activities of pacifying, magnetising, enriching, and destroying ego’s games, where we are effective in our interactions with others.

2. The side effect of not dropping the experience is that it is still ‘all about me’. Feeling that we have the spiritual knowledge has an unfortunately effect that fosters the unconscious attitude and behaviour seen in many spiritual groups, of being overly self-consciousness and overly mindful. We become mannered and artificial, stuck in the memories of the 8th consciousness.

We use words such as ‘dukkha’, ‘metta’, ‘bodhichitta’. As long as we hold on to an idea, we will never experience the reality; genuine compassion and loving concern for others’ suffering.

True compassion
includes those who consider themselves
to be knowledgeable.

For that, we need a truly firm foundation.




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Enlightenment Is A Series Of Realisations

A series of releases.
A series of diminishing fixations.
A series of emotions transforming into wisdoms.

Emotions flare up, and their brilliance is seen as the spontaneous light of pure consciousness. Emotions and recognition simply become wisdom.

That is the unity of the two truths – relative and absolute.

Relative truth happens when absolute truth – pure consciousness – forgets itself, and starts relating to the external world and ideas.

Feeling uncomfortable when an emotion emerges, we spontaneously look for the source of this discomfort, and realise that this isn’t someone else’s fault but rather, it arises from the instability of our own self-image.

The series of realisations uncovers pure consciousness, illuminating an artificial self that reacts habitually. At each level of realisation, we notice that there is no going back. We no longer retire into the total indifference of mundanity. Even if we take a wrong turn, there is always that which is present that makes us feel uncomfortable, and an inner conflict arises. We know that there is a rightness, but we cannot always access this until karma opens the door – maybe when someone or something annoys us! The shock of seeing what we are doing is never a pretty sight, however we may dress ourselves up.

All we need to do is take the layers off.

Screen Shot 2020-01-13 at 11.26.56

What do we do in the meantime?
We make do and mend.
We don’t have to worry about doing lots of ‘practice’.
We merely have to be barely-aware, rather than super-aware.
In that way, we stay relaxed, and don’t make a big deal out of anything.

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No One Is Original

We are the origin
that transcends all.

Receiving the transmission on reality,
we go out into the world
that shows us our place.

How do we know we have the transmission?
Genuine, interested, empathetic compassion arises.

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Lights, Colours And Direct Seeing

A conclusion (so far) about Togal

When we paint a picture, we start off with pure colours – red, yellow and blue – straight from the tube. Mixing these together for the first time, the colours of the rainbow are produced and, on a white canvas, those colours reveal their brilliance. Gradually, through further mixing and modification, we create an image that appears real. We may lose the pure colour on the white ground, but that remains the basis of everything that comes later.

This is the same as pure vision. Even though we may not see pure vision, pure light, we know that all manifestations arise from this.

This also applies to the emotions, which are the pure state of wisdom. Our pure essence has three qualities: emptiness, cognisance and compassion. These manifest as the five wisdoms:

1. All-encompassing wisdom is open and vast.

2. Mirror-like wisdom is able to reflect precise details.

3. Equalising wisdom is un-biased towards appearances.

4. Discerning wisdom is the ability to distinguish clearly.

5. All-accomplishing wisdom sees that everything is already perfectly accomplished.

When we know that everything manifests from emptiness, we no longer believe that manifestations are real. This direct seeing of emptiness is called ‘Togal’ – the clear light of bliss. From this, everything becomes modified into a gross state through ignorance but, like colour, it can all be reduced back to white or clear light.

One could say that everything works like a prism, where clear light enters the prism and is split into the rainbow colours. We may not see true colour – or wisdom – but we know, through inference, that it is there. Whatever we see with our physical eyes is not the real thing: it is the pure seeing or pure consciousness that is the real thing. A drawn circle can never be perfect because it is projected onto a surface, but the maths behind it is perfect. It is the same with pure consciousness; whatever we do, pure consciousness stays the same (but remains, for most, unnoticed).

Togal – the refined state of pure consciousness – is ‘direct seeing’. It is the outcome of analysis and experience but maybe, for most of us, the description of Togal is just inference. We do, however, understand about white light and rainbow colours.

Why is this so important? The five wisdoms correlate to the five negative emotions. When the emotions flare up, their brilliance reveals the pure light of consciousness.

There are many obscure descriptions of Togal that sound like gobbledegook and are not meant for the common mind. These description could be literal or cultural, or simply a clarification of pure consciousness.

I stopped worrying about the meaning of Togal years ago, as everything comes in its own good time, and refines in its own good time. Remember, this process isn’t about learning something and ticking a box; it’s about being – rather than being something. 😀

We may notice that Tibetan monasteries are rainbow-painted to remind us. It’s not just decoration: Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche wrote a book entitled, “Rainbow Painting”. When we truly take this to heart, it becomes an ornament: the word ‘ornament’ is the highest level of rigpa (essence love, expression, effulgence and ornament).

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Starting With Preliminaries Or Advanced Teachings?

Do we start at the beginning, or at the end?

This up to the individual teacher or student. We usually start at the beginning in order to get to the end, but this is only true within a culture where we see evidence of where we are going.

Oh! that looks interesting. Where do I start?”
Oh! I am that which I seek. And all I have to do is remember.”

To get to the point, we have to know what the point is. If hearsay is enough, then we follow along with what others are doing, hoping to get somewhere – but life is too short to hope that we will realise the truth. Some of us want something more than hope, don’t we? To keep being told that we’re not ready makes us suspicious of cronyism/selectivism/Lamaism. There is no danger in clear, advanced teachings save that of becoming arrogant. This is why compassion is of paramount importance and has to be accurately understood.

We have to know what we’re doing and why, rather than trusting someone else’s view and decisions. It’s up to us to recognise whether something is true and right or not (to recognise is to re-know something already known but which may not be clear).

Here is the advanced teaching:

We are the pure, direct experience of consciousness
that is ever present.
There is nothing else to do but remember.

When we realise this, everything becomes clear.

Drop all attachment to thoughts and realise what sees.
Now, when thoughts arise,
there is a simultaneous experience of pure consciousness.

Any procedure or practice can then be applied
to sustain this realisation.
Ultimately, our teacher is life itself.

That’s it! Not complicated, is it?
Now it’s up to us to value this and remember.

And, most importantly of all,
recognise whatever obscures this clear view.

We may find this rather disappointing as we want something extraordinary: are we looking at the culture rather than the teachings? We already have everything that we need to realise our enlightened state, within our culture and through our upbringing. Others’ upbringing will be different: Tibetan lamas are not brought up in our education system, with rock and roll, biased media and the technocracy of social engineering creating fear, hope and division.

We can either learn to be decent people and then be seen as deserving of advanced teachings, or we can receive the advanced teachings and become decent people. There is no right and wrong about this: it all depends on our past experiences and our present behaviour.

I follow the Tibetan Nyingma tradition of Dzogchen and Rigpa. Doesn’t that sound exotic and complicated? ;D ‘Rigpa’ is simply one Tibetan word for pure consciousness. We are pure consciousness – it’s what is seeing these words now without comment, and it’s quite ordinary – but when we start thinking about these words, we use ordinary human consciousness which is influenced by desire and aversion.

All we have to do is recognise.

There comes a time in our investigations when we encounter something that sounds bizarre, complex and secret, so we either have to find our own way through, or keep on waiting.

In the Nyingma tradition, there are two aspects to Rigpa; Trekcho and Togal. Cutting through and leaping over. Cutting through thoughts and direct seeing. Trekcho is frequently taught, but Togal is not. It’s Togal that sounds obscure, but it’s quite simple (to be continued).

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How Is Everything An Illusion?
And why is this a problem for us?

The illusion isn’t the problem:
it’s believing and clinging to the illusion that binds us.

We can have fun with illusion
– like blowing pretty bubbles in the air –
without taking it too seriously.

Life is perception. And there you go … that’s where the problem lies! Whatever is perceived isn’t the reality as that constantly changes; that which perceives, however – consciousness itself – is the reality. We are pure, direct, unchanging consciousness.

Consciousness interprets perception by judging, and believes that judgement to be right. Perception takes place in the mind – in consciousness – so reality is in the essence of mind. Everything perceived does not have a permanent, inherent existence and so cannot be said to be real. It only seems to be real … in the mind.

Why is this a problem for us?

It tricks us into a subtle deception under which we then live, basing our existence on the concepts of others, which are no more than pretty bubbles in the air.

It’s like choosing to live in a cinema, or in front of a computer screen. The actual reality is consciousness, rather than what is perceived. If we take one step back, we realise that consciousness is direct consciousness, pure consciousness, and it is here that our life change, and we stop belonging to those bubbles in the air.

The more we believe, the more emotional and unstable we become, until our bubble bursts.

Life is like watching a magician at work. A magician has skill to transfer our consciousness away from the reality. We – the audience – half-believe in the trick while half-knowing it’s a trick. Preferring to be entertained, we go along with this performance, this illusion, becoming caught up in the theatrics. We then come out of the show and back into our show, our ‘business as usual’, chasing the next bubble.

I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air,
They fly so high,
Then like my dreams,
They fade and die.Fortune’s always hiding,
I’ve looked everywhere,
I’m forever blowing bubbles,
Pretty bubbles in the air.”

Our desires are always just out of reach. This creates a false idea, a belief, a longing for an ideal, when we are living the illusion that we are what we think. Our mind is bombarded with pretty music, pretty games, pretty sport, pretty news, pretty politics, pretty religion, pretty education, pretty fashion … all of which we believe are important to us.

And so we get by.

If this is all we want, then we get more of the same, and it becomes our addiction. We obsess about the game show, when the truth is that the only thing that is real about an illusion is that it is an illusion.

Recognising that everything takes place in the mind is the release we seek from the confusion and turmoil of life. We are no longer overrun by thoughts.

Being real is stepping outside collective thinking. Life becomes our teacher, and the lesson is one complete spiritual practice in non-distraction. We can be aware of plays in the mind while not believing in them. Everything comes to pass.

We are that which cannot be imagined.
We have always been beyond imagination.
Even pure consciousness is an illusion.
There is only pure experience,
without an experiencer.

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Spiritual Teachings Are Tough

They aren’t about feeling good:
they are meant to open our insight.

Whether pleasant or unpleasant,
the eye of wisdom opens to see clearly.

The magic of daily life happens
through close inspection and gratitude.

Compassion arises within
unshakeable, impartial confidence.

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If We Can Manage Our Thoughts

If we can manage our thoughts,
then we can go anywhere.
If we cannot manage our thoughts,
then we want to be in a nice, safe place.

The Buddha’s teachings help us to realise
our potential and responsibilities.

If we cannot manage our thoughts and reactions,
then that potential will be lost.
We will only know fear,
and hope the fear will go away.

To repeat constantly the Buddha’s words:
“Do not take my word for it”.
This means that we have to know for ourself
instead of relying on the guru.

Reliance maintains a duality,
an inferior position.
We have to know what we are;
it’s everyone’s birthright.

We are free to choose in the moment when we see:
before this, we are controlled by our thoughts.

When we can manage our thoughts,
then we know what we are doing.

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There Is No Such Thing As Normal
Normal: conforming to others’ standards.

Conforming means consenting to others’ concepts and, in doing so, we give away our authority to breakout of this mayhem of strife. Unless we recognise and are obeying the eternal laws of the universe, we cannot govern our gross self, as this gross self is governed by gross universal laws of desire, aversion and indifference. The pure laws of the universe are purity, compassion and consciousness.

When we doubt, we become confused about our reality, and then we create and exaggerate in order to justify our confusion. This confusion is a lack of confidence, and so we act out an illusion. That’s okay – we all do it – but recognising this illusion is literally the path to enlightenment.

Together in our diversity of confusion, we generate the collective illusion in which we all live by ignoring our true reality. We could say that this is ‘normal’ for sentient beings, but our confusion is still individual. If we constantly cling to the past, we will never know now. We may look to ancient history for truth when, in fact, truth is within us. We – pure consciousness – are the truth. So what, if someone was enlightened thousands of years ago? What matters is that we unclothe our enlightenment now. Belief is a subtle trick of deception.

No one is normal: we have each exaggerated ourselves into a confusion and the environment in which we live only supports this confusion. Simply recognise this, and we are on our path to enlightenment. The Buddha’s first noble truth is to admit that we are suffering, dissatisfied, unhappy.

We are pure awareness, the pure light of clarity projected into a small mental self image. We have each created our own path – there isn’t a ‘normal’ path.

We do not become enlightened, en masse.

Spiritual teachings are generalisations, and how we use these teachings is up to us. Just going through the rote of chanting mantras and prayers, doing prostrations and circumambulations, meditation, yoga … these are just reminders to let go. It is we who need to see, rather than be bound to elaborate practices. Practice is seeing that seeing is present, and that is pure consciousness.

Recognising our path is the union of relative and absolute truth.
Seeing confusion!
That non-duality is true normality!

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Once We Realise The Three Kayas

Once we realise the three Kayas,
we understand everything.

These three principles have a positive and negative aspect.
They become negative when we ignore the positive.


Dharmakaya = Emptiness
Sambhogakaya = Consciousness
Nirmanakaya = Compassion


Dharmakaya is emptiness;
when we desire, we fill this emptiness with concepts.

Sambhogakaya is consciousness;
when concepts manifest, we start to judge, creating aversion.

Nirmanakaya is compassionate activity
created through understanding of the other two Kayas;
when the other two Kayas are ignored, indifference arises.

If we don’t wake up to this truth,
others take advantage of us.
It’s how this world is ruled.

Who is telling the truth?
Who is creating alternative narratives?

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There Is One, Simple, Universal Truth

There is one, simple, universal truth:
we are non-duality of pure conscious.

Our story starts when we admit that we ignore this truth,
and finishes with the realisation of this truth.
Until then, we wander here and there.

When we realise that we are pure consciousness,
we also realise that every sentient being is pure consciousness.

We now notice that all sentient beings ignore this truth,
and wander here and there.

It is because we ignore this simple truth
that we are unhappy.

Recognising unhappiness,
compassion arises through empathy.

What do we do with this empathetic compassion?
We learn to clarify confusion,
not add to it.

This is direct, esoteric teaching.

Without realising our true essence, we wander here and there, seeking happiness that is already our nature. Until we understand the truth of our reality, we create one, and so contaminate our mind with speculation. We become lost in concepts, and mistake pure, uncontaminated consciousness for something mystical. That is the state of duality to which exoteric teachings have brought us.

All beings throughout this infinite universe are pure consciousness. Without consciousness, nothing would be known. When we decide to look at this consciousness, it only takes a moment to find that there is nothing but consciousness. We live in dangerous, troubled times. In truth, ignorance does not excuse us from suffering: we will suffer until we stop ignoring our reality.

Esoteric teachings are uncomfortable for those who prefer to be attracted to the strong identity of exoteric teachings, which are incomplete as they maintain a duality.

We might ask, “What are exoteric teachings?” They tell us all is well … be at peace … go placidly … believe … pretend … fake it … and this is why people don’t trust religion any more.

Esoteric is non-duality.
Exoteric is duality.

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Should We Talk About Such Things?

Is our intelligence merely received information?
The more we investigate, the more potent the observation.

Intelligence: the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

If our intelligence is just received information, then we are programmed through language and thought rather than through observation, so our intelligence only goes so far. There is nothing wrong with thoughts, but when we cling to them and cultivate them, they limit pure experience, and everything becomes second hand.

If we think that we have reason then, at what level of consciousness are we reasoning? Words create thoughts, and thoughts create emotions of pride, jealousy, desire, aversion and indifference. So thoughts are prewritten programming – when did we last have a free thought? When do we actually start thinking for ourselves? And can we?

We are in a Catch-22 situation of being trapped in reactions to beliefs.

Catch 22: the result, from rules, regulations, or procedures, that an individual is subject to, but has no control over, because to fight the rule is to accept it.

We have to go beyond thought into consciousness itself, where perception first takes place. A red car goes by, and we don’t have to think, “Oo! There’s a red car!” We already know. There is no need to luxuriate over the car, or claim that we know what kind it is. Our ‘valued’ opinions come later because of our tendency – our programming – to behave in a particular way, while pure perception is pure consciousness: it is the one taste of perception which is present before first impressions, judgements and reactions arise, controlling us through our acquired pattern of behaviour.

Going beyond intelligence is going beyond reasoning. We need reasoning to survive and to study and, if all we want to do is survive and study, then common reasoning is enough. We are fed information and that can become our life, where we rely on others to write programmes for us to play with. Texting offers predictive text, autocomplete and autocorrect, and we can add emojis that symbolise an idea or concept … all in all, a truly limited existence and experience.

When we can cut through our thoughts and emotions by merely seeing them, we are free. Meditation of the clear view cantake us beyond thoughts, to experience pure consciousness. This doesn’t mean that we don’t know anything: rather, we realise that we are knowingness itself, before anything is known.

Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge.
Wisdom is beyond knowledge, just being.

When we stop talking and thinking, we are free.
Free in the moment of just seeing.

We can enjoy everything that we do, but it is nothing special.
What’s special is recognising that all appearances are empty of inherent existence.

Then we just play with illusions.

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Finding Our True Lineage

Returning to our inner intention.
Being happy.

There is a lineage calling within us all: it is our path to enlightenment.
This isn’t an organisation or tradition; it’s an inner longing.
It isn’t hope; it’s more like re-cognition.

We may all be pure consciousness but our path to realisation has its own influences. We naturally see things in a certain way, and this has nothing to do with doing our own thing. Rather, it is an inner realisation, where we learn experientially instead of ‘faking it’. We may follow a tradition (or traditions) for a while, and then we feel that we’re treading water, just going through the routine.

There’s an inner spark that illuminates and connects us to a stream of consciousness. This link is always present, but is lost in our gross hopes and fears.

When we investigate our true reality, we discover that this truth is not separate from the truth of others, but the intensity of flavour will be different.

This isn’t about obsession; it is about re-cognition.
It’s a personal enquiry into consciousness through meditation and study.

We cannot rely on others, as they are following their own lineage, and doing it their way. So what can we rely on? We can rely on “That which is not”. Yes, aversion is a path and attraction is a path. Recognising addiction to gross universal laws is our teacher and, in this way, we see how beings are driven and controlled:

The first gross law is attraction.
The second gross law is repulsion.
Ignoring these two gross laws is the third gross law of indifference.

These gross laws are driven by our self belief, and thus we come under their control. When we no longer hold on to self belief, we realise our perfect state of pure consciousness and have found our lineage:

Attraction becomes emptiness.
Before this, we filled emptiness with concepts.

Aversion becomes consciousness.
Before this, we judged everything through preconceived concepts.

Ignorance becomes compassion.
Before this, we were competitive.

Our lineage is within.
Our happiness is within.
Don’t dismiss this as a cliché.


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Clear Imitation – Confused Imitation

We have a choice of two paths in life: one is to follow organised confusion, and the other is to realise our original wisdom. We know what organised confusion is like as we live in it ;D, but what is the path back to original wisdom?

For thousands of years, humans have sought the truth about their origin. Some look to science for an answer, while some look to God. Others look at what it is that is looking at science and God, which is consciousness itself. Is there a relationship – an interdependence – that links all views together?

What if Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and all their variations have a connection to the Vedic tradition of India? And what if that Vedic tradition had its roots in the pre-historic Aryan view of perfection, originating in the Iranian/Persian area, north-west of India? These teachings were called Sanatana Dharma, which means ‘universal’ or ‘limitless principal/law/duty’. Eternal order.

Everything arises from causes and conditions, within universal pure consciousness that has no cause and no end. Universal laws are a manifestation, not the source. It is worshipping the source that causes confusion as it becomes partisan and separates consciousness from its reality, creating a duality.

If we were to put all those ancient texts together,
they merely say,
“We are what we seek. We are pure consciousness”.

We are Dzogchen/Mahamudra/Atiyoga//Brahma/God/Sanatana/Universal Principal …

Deep within all sentient beings is the profound intuition that we are timeless, limitless beings. The real thing. If we stop along the way in order to belong, we delay arriving at where we are destined; the realisation of non-dual awareness.

What is this limitless universal law? It is the law of three, and different traditions describe these in their own ways. Here is the Tibetan view (from the Sanskrit) of the three Kayas, our primordial nature:

Dharmakaya = emptiness.
Sambhogakaya = consciousness.
Nirmankaya = compassionate manifestation.

Pure consciousness is our essence and nature:
as a unity, these manifest as compassion.

When ignored, however, these laws manifest as three negative emotions of desire, aversion and indifference that disturb our mind. In nature, these correspond to attraction, repulsion and inertia – or fight, flight and freeze. These principles affect the choice as to which path we traverse.

Once the three Kayas are realised, when negative emotions arise they spontaneously appear as the Kayas. This is the wisdom aspect – the unity of non-duality. Never feel guilty about having emotions: it is the primary recognition of emotion that is wisdom. It is a lighting up of seeing without attachment, and the stronger the emotion, the stronger the wisdom.

Perfection is the pure insight of consciousness.
It has nothing to do with words.Words create an ‘I’ of confusion and ideologies.

Does the following make sense?

The Father is Emptiness.
The Son is ordinary, sentient consciousness.
When I and my father are one, that is non-duality.

The Holy Ghost is the unity of the two,
which is compassionate atmosphere.


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Soft And Hard

We don’t realise
how hard and fixated we are about things.

Anything hard snaps easily.

– or remembering our true nature –
brings about an unbreakable softness.

We become more flexible.

Wishing you
many transmissions and inspiration for the coming year.

Tony and Kathie

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Always Return To First Principles

Watching the breath
cuts through circling thoughts.

This brings us back to thought-free now.
We become one with the breath.

Breath is life.
Life is spirit.
Spirit is pure consciousness.

We are this without thinking.

,,It’s not complicated.
We are this, anywhere, any time.

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A System Is A Good Beginning

A system is a good beginning,
but a system can make us passive and ‘samey’.

In a system, we feel good and safe.
We go through our routines
and establish a basis to work with.

But do we actually work (show compassion),
or do we just go through our routine?

The best place to experience real Dharma
is wherever we are.

When we get bored or depressed with our routine …
… celebrate!

Routines cover up rawness.
Rawness is life itself.
Rawness is the strong, undisguised emotions,
uncompromising and realistic in unpleasant situations.

Better to know the truth than believe in a routine.
Then we can die well, with real confidence.

Whether or not there is consciousness after death is a moot question.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel,
or is the light here right now?

As long as we care, we win!

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Realising Emptiness

It is so simple.

Our eyes have tear ducts to keep them clean and clear.
We are so used to this clarity that we don’t notice it, and ignore it
… until the arrival of a speck of dust.

Likewise, the essence of mind is empty, clean and clear.
We are so used to this clarity that we don’t notice it, and ignore it
… until the arrival of an negative emotion.

It is because our minds are filled with thoughts
– which become negative emotions –
that we do not notice our own empty clarity.

Once we realise our own empty clarity,
then the arrival of a negative emotion becomes
a reminder of our true essence.
That is wisdom.

Irritation is wisdom.

😀 😀 😀

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Buddhism: Logical Conclusions

Buddhism isn’t a religion.
It is spiritual guidance for consciousness.
Our salvation and sanity come through our own efforts
to realise the truth about consciousness.

We attain realisation through knowledge, not prayer.
Through knowledge, we recognise the negative effects
of clinging to thoughts and emotions.

There are many levels of ignorance:
Buddhism is the science to realise the goodness of our true nature.

In our internal debate, one part talks while the other listens in silence.
Believing in that which talks relates to the past and causes us suffering,
while silence is the sanity of unprejudiced awareness.

Buddhism isn’t a religion.
There nothing religious about the spontaneous presence of pure consciousness.

Religion binds us to realisation.
It is the purity of emptiness that releases us.

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Too Intense?

Our ‘self’ is a construct,
a programme received from our environmental conveyor belt.

True spiritual teachings dismantle this self-belief.

Without realising, we have had our minds numbed to our true reality.
The shock of realising the confusion in which we live
– and how this muddle is maintained –
is coupled with the shock of seeing teachings
turned into pampering sessions.

The more we reflect and test those teachings,
the more accurately we realise their essence
and the more we see directly.

It needs a true shock to realise our true being
in order to get out of this beautiful mud.
We abide as pure consciousness
that expresses itself in a unique, compassionate way.

There is no magnificent self present.
We just do what is needed, according to our level of realisation.
Our essence is pure awareness.
In that, we are all the same – neither muddy nor beautiful.
The way in which we express is unique.

we decide what gives us confidence,
and tread that path.

When the Buddha said,
“Do not take my word for it; see for yourself”,
he meant do not just follow him.
Look at where you are.

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How To Make The World A Better Place

See it differently.

The world is a huge illusion
built on cultural ideas and beliefs.
Making an illusion better actually only makes it worse.

We make the world better by seeing the illusion
rather than merely joining in.
To make the world a better place,
we start by seeing what ideas and beliefs control us.

It is that very seeing that will make the world a better place for all.
In just seeing, we ask, “What is it?”
instead of just going through a routine.

We do not accept the status quo – the state in which we live – as reality.
We do accept that we are seeing the illusions.
In the moment of seeing, we are free.

How do we get seven billion people to see that they see?

Some play games given to them,
while others protests all over the world.

Perhaps that’s a start!

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The Scales Fall From Our Eyes

“Immediately, there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once.” Acts 9:18, New King James Version.

Let the “scales fall from our eyes”. What does that really mean? How are we blind, and then can see? It doesn’t mean we’re literally blind; we are blind to the truth.

We are blind when we are constantly calculating, weighing up and relating to preconceived ideas, and can find no inner peace. While we are calculating, we are blind to pure experience. When the ‘scales fall from our eyes’, we see, recognise the truth and find inner peace. We are no longer deceived by constantly measuring our place in the pecking order. 😀

This perpetual calculating creates pride and jealousy which cloud our mind. Pride and jealousy are created by our desires and fears which are, in turn, created by our ignoring pure seeing, pure experience in the first instant; we are constantly calibrating our worth rather than experiencing our pure essence.

When the scales fall from our eyes we see more clearly.

When we experience pride, we think we are above others, but clarity tells us that whatever we think we know, others will find out in their own good time. There is no race or competition: I’ve received knowledge from spiritual teachers, and babies just born will also find that knowledge in their own good time.

When experiencing jealousy, we think that others know more than us, but we too will know what they know in our own good time. Whatever we actually admire about others means that that very recognition is a quality within us too.

When I first took up seeking the truth, people would say such marvellous things … so I read the books that they read, and went to the same teachings, and now I know what they know. It is the knowledge that is special, not the person. There is no race or competition.

What is this special knowledge that opens our eyes? It is in the pure hearing and experiencing when we realise, in that first moment where nothing else is present, that that is what we are. Spontaneous presence. It has no name, and saying a name detracts from the pure realisation of absolute consciousness.

Have a happy Christmas, and enjoy others’ enjoyment.


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The Messiah Complex

Hasn’t it caused a lot of problems in the world?

Messiah: The anointed saviour who is said to bring the dead back to life, reuniting them with their souls.

We know that this means different things to different people. Is it a literal or transcendental statement? If it is a spiritual question, shouldn’t the answer be spiritual as well? Do people live, believe and die not knowing what is true? Who anointed that saviour? Is this a passing on, a received transmission? What do ‘bring the dead back to life’ and ‘reunited with their souls’ mean?

As a Buddhist, this may be interpreted another way. Maybe … just maybe … ‘reunited’ is meant in a spiritual way, in the sense of our inner consciousness of pure awareness or spirit: that is what we are. We are awakening from the dream of preconceived ideas, bringing consciousness back to the essence of life itself.

To put it bluntly, we are all potential messiahs. For example, in the Dzogchen tradition, we receive the pointing out instruction into the nature of mind, and the word Kabbala means ‘to receive’. Is that ‘receiving’ a transmission, an anointing, whereby, instead of living a dream, we now awaken to our true reality. To be ‘reunited with our souls’ (even though in Buddhism a soul is not recognised) means we awaken to the unity of a false self that is recognised by pure consciousness.

A messiah complex is a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief that they are destined to become a saviour and are responsible for saving or assisting others; in common usage, it is an accusation of delusion. However, it could be said that Bodhisattvas have a messiah complex! It’s what true compassion is all about! A messiah complex is the result of inner joy and outer sadness at the mental state of sentient beings.

A Bodhisattva works for the benefit of others. This vow is not to be taken lightly, and one’s life will never be the same again. The word ‘Buddha’ means awake and pure. There are nine levels of Bodhisattvas, up to enlightenment.

Bodhisattva Vow

Just as the earth and the other three elements, together with space,
eternally nourish and sustain all beings.

So may I become that source of nourishment and sustenance which
maintains all beings situated throughout space, as long as all have
not attained to peace.

When the Sugatas of former times committed themselves to the Bodhicitta, they gradually established themselves in the practice of a Bodhisattva.

So I too commit myself to the Bodhicitta for the welfare of beings
and will gradually establish myself in the practice of a Bodhisattva.

Today my birth has become fruitful; my birth as a human is justified.

Today I an born in the Buddha family; I am now a child of the Buddha.
Now I am determined to perform those acts appropriate to my family;
I will not violate the purity of this faultless noble family.

Just as a blind man wandering about comes upon a jewel in a heap of refuse so, apparently by chance, the Bodhicitta is born in me.

That supreme amrita destroying death.
The inexhaustible hidden treasure relieving the universal poverty.
The supreme cure for calming the universal ill.

The tree which shelters beings weary of wandering the paths of samsara.
The vehicle for all travellers passing over distress.
The moon of mind which cools the heat of desire.

The great sun dispelling the obscurity of ignorance.
The great happiness for those travellers wandering the path of samara, searching for object of enjoyment.

In the presence of all the Buddhas, I have invited all the Tathagatas
and all beings as my guests. Devas and Asuras rejoice.

It is said that taking the Bodhisattva vow is an expression of making ourselves at home in this world. We expose ourselves confidently for the benefit of sentient beings. We give up our ambition to attain enlightenment in favour of relieving the suffering and difficulties of sentient beings. Nevertheless, we attain enlightenment anyway.

Bodhisattvas and great Tathagatas of the past have taken this step, and we too can do this. It is simply a matter of accepting either this expansive approach to life, or settling for a self-centred, poverty-stricken mentality.

There are no limits to caring.

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